Littlemonk tells us: I simply don't have the time to glue each board together to make a wooden crate, so I came up with this simplified version.
Small wooden cubes. I found mine at a craft store and they measure 1/2 inch, but either bigger cubes or rectangles would do.
Wood strips. I used coffee stirrers from a local coffee shop; they are nice and thin and have a rough texture.
Black ink pen.
Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue. PVA will do, but I like how fast this dries.
Wood stain or various brown washes.
Step 1: Cutting the wood
Cut a coffee stirrer in half lengthwise. Take one half and cut off a piece to the width of the cube. We'll need 8 pieces in all to form the bracing on the sides of the crate.
Take another coffee stirrer but don't cut it lengthwise, just leave it the way it is. Cut this into pieces the width of the cube. These will serve as the top of the crate. How many you need will depend on the dimensions of your blocks and strips/stirrers but I found that I needed 3 strips per cube.
Step 2: Scoring the cube
To make the crate look as if it's made up of lots of boards, score plank lines in the wooden cube using a razor saw. You could use a knife but I found the saw to be safer and more effective.
Find the natural grain of the wood and go with it, not against it. The 'sides' with 'end grain' will act as the top and bottom of the crate. The bottom doesn't need score lines since it will be out of sight. The top will be covered with coffee stirrers. Score the remaining 4 sides. I scored 2 lines per side such that they looked like 3 planks (to match the top). The deeper you can score the lines, the more realistic it will look.
Step 3: Assembly
Now take the small strips and glue 2 to each side. One near the top and one near the bottom. Do this for all 4 sides then glue the larger strips to top to create the lid of crate. Take care not to get any glue on the faces if you will be staining as opposed to painting the crates.
I then used a black ink pen to make little nail indentations. I like the effect of the ink leaking out a little around the 'nail'. Now we're ready to paint!
Step 4: Painting
I used a Minwax "Golden Oak" wood stain pen followed by a brown ink wash called "Chocolate Brown" by Reaper. I thought about using a wood stain, but I thought it would be too messy. I prefer wood stain to paint for actual wood, but you can paint it up any way you prefer! All told, it took no more than 10 minutes per crate.